With the Summer holidays fast approaching, I am always on the look out for a great day out for the kids that isn’t going to break the bank. Thankfully, Kent Police have got just the thing. Each year, they host the most amazing fun day for families. It is a chance to go and explore what the Police and the other emergencies services do. It is held at the Police Training Ground in Maidstone which is a fantastic venue as it allows space for three arenas for different demonstrations, so many stands and a great bouncy play area too!
My eldest son attends a weekly French Club and so was delighted when the first stand we arrived at was for the French Gendarmerie and he had the opportunity to sit on their motorbike. This was the first of many vehicles that the boys would get to sit in or on throughout the day. The Police officers who are manning the attractions are all so friendly and fantastic with children. They laugh and joke with them and really set them at ease making sure they are having a fantastic day! One of Rowan’s highlights was sitting in the police van and making police car noises into the radio which were broadcast out of the van’s loud speaker system for anyone is the near vicinity to hear!
Police departments of all kinds are represented at the fun day. Any job that you imagine the police do can be found here. We particularly enjoyed visiting the Forensic police officers. Rory learnt how to dust for prints and both boys made a keyring using their finger print. They then used a magnifying glass to look at the pattern of their prints and identify which type of finger print they have. Outside, a crime scene had been set up and we were able to go into the scene and look for different kinds of evidence. Rory had no idea what the job of a forensic officer was before, but he definitely had a good understanding after visiting this area!
As well as all the fantastic stands and stalls, there are a range of awesome displays throughout the day. As I mentioned previously there are three arenas. These show a Police Dog display, a Public Order Demonstration and a Roads Policing display. The title of Roads Policing display does not do this one justice. There is a ‘narrator’ explaining to you that a crime has taken place and suddenly a high speed car chase unfolds before your very eyes! They then demonstrate how they would chase and capture the fugitive. In previous years, a fire engine has also been a part of this display and they use their equipment to cut the roof off a car to rescue a passenger. I assume that should the fire engine be needed else where this part doesn’t happen.
My favourite display is the Public Order display. This takes place in front of a ‘real’ house. To begin with, a variety of officers parade around to show the different kits and uniforms needed by officers of a variety of roles when dealing with a situation such as rioting, terrorism etc. Then they explode petrol bombs on the ground and walk straight through them to show how amazing their clothing and boots are in a firey situation! A narrator then explains that there is a dangerous criminal who quickly appears brandishing a fire axe handle. Thankfully, the riot police are quickly deployed with their shields and are able to push him back but he escapes inside the house. At this point, more police arrive and within no time they have set themselves up to break through the windows and doors and capture the criminal! It really is such an exciting demonstration!
Although most of the stands are provided by the police, there are also other emergency services represented. Rory enjoyed going inside an ambulance. The paramedics showed him how they measure heart rate and popped a clip on his finger to demonstrate. He was also able to use a stethoscope to listen to his heart beat. Outside the ambulance, a CPR area had been set up and Rory had a go at trying to resuscitate Annie. This is a skill that I really believe that everyone should learn so it was fantastic to see this here.
The coastguards are also present with one of their boats which you are able to sit in and try on their uniform. They also have a game to give the children the chance to fling a rescue rope to ‘rescue’ someone!
If your child loves dressing up, they will be in their element because so many of the police departments have the opportunity to try on their uniform including their hats and helmets.
As well as all the amazing displays and stands, there is also a large bouncy play area. This is split into two parts. An area for under 5s with a bouncy castle and a little assault course. For the older children, there is a huge inflatable slide, a bungee rope run and a laser tag arena where the children climb inside the inflatable!
There really is so much going on throughout the day. We didn’t manage to do it all but we really did have a fantastic day. It is so brilliant that Kent Police put this event on for free! If you fancy going next year, you just need to apply for tickets online. We would absolutely recommend it.